15 Best Depressing Anime Movies- Ranked!

If you are a sensitive soul, then beware; the list ahead is full of the best depressing anime movies. Many people enjoy watching such movies because they find them relatable. Oftentimes, they also turn out to be a solid form of motivation, but it’s all up to one’s perspective whether to learn from them or not. 

One should always experience all sorts of emotions, and one should know how to deal with them. When the darkest times come, we often find ourselves overwhelmed without the knowledge to deal with them. Watching such movies can also be a source of good lessons that teach us how to cope with daily life challenges. 

Where comedy movies bring a smile to our faces, and fantasy movies nurture our imagination, the same way Depressing anime movies improve our vision to see the world. Here we begin our list! 

Depressing Anime Movies That Will Leave You Bothered


  • Beware, all of these anime movies have the potential to leave you emotional and might give you misty eyes
  • The movies range from slightly depressing to most depressing so watch them with caution.
  • All of them ranked based on my personal opinion so please don’t judge

15. Wolf Children

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Unfortunately, many people think that romance and love are the center of their lives, not knowing that the world is so vast. Instead of treating love as an emotion, they forget about the challenges that come with it. This movie teaches this lesson so beautifully that it will leave you awestruck.

Hana, a moderate and beautiful girl, is the center of the story, and she loses her heart to her classmate. To top it off, he was a werewolf. As she was in love, she couldn’t see the realities and also couldn’t guess the challenges that awaited her. They started a family and became four, and just like that, one day, she got the worst news of her lover’s death.

Now, the realization of the harsh realities opened her eyes, and she feared the world knowing about the identities of her children. Yes, they took after their father and were werewolves. The movie then highlights her struggles as a single mom, where she had to face all the odds alone. Honestly, this is actually one of the most depressing anime movies because it focuses on life challenges. 

14. Howl’s Moving Castle 

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It’s not that depressing as compared to the other depressing anime movies on this list. However, if you are a sensitive soul, many things will bother you in this movie. First of all, the fact that our beautiful heroine was cursed to be an old woman. Throughout the film, one remains in constant stress regarding how she will regain her original self. Also, learning about the inner battles of the male lead may affect you in one way or another. 

Anyhow, the story revolves around a hat maker, Sophie (FL), whose life changes when she crosses paths with the most handsome wizard, Howl (ML). Just like he was the heartthrob of every girl, there was a witch who liked Howl.  She was jealous after learning about their increasing closeness, which resulted in her cursing Sophie. 

That’s when the real story begins! The panicked female lead runs from her house to find a way out of this mess. Things lead her to Howl’s Moving Castle in the hope that the wizard might be of some help to her. Guess what? Howl failed to recognize Sophie, and truly, he is not to blame. Rest assured, they do fall in love and end up together, but “how” and “why” is the main crunch of the story. Let’s get ready to explore the rest on your own.

13. In This Corner Of The World

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It’s another masterpiece from our beloved MAPPA Studio. I absolutely love how Japanese creators point out the most sensitive part of one’s life. Not just that, they portray them in a way that one is bound to learn from them. 

In This Corner Of The World is one of those depressing anime movies that will force you to see the world in a different light. Suzu Urano is our gorgeous female lead who is so innocent that it will hurt your heart to see her go through hardships. She loved drawing and was super happy, enjoying the simplicity of her life. Helping her grandmother in her business was also one of her favorite activities. 

Suddenly, when she turned of age (of course, societal norms), she was married to a stranger. At such a young age, she was forced to stay away from her home. Her struggles to adjust to the new place along with strangers trying to figure out likes and dislikes of the people seemed a daunting task. Above all, that was just the beginning; things worsened due to the War that would shatter her peace. 

If not anything else, then you will definitely be grateful for the life you are living. Why? Because, unfortunately, there are still girls who experience the same tragedies as Suzu Urano.

12. My Sister Momoko

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This movie is indeed one of the most depressing anime movies out there. It highlights the challenges that people with disabilities face every day. I sincerely thank the Japanese creators for creating this masterpiece. I promise you that your way of seeing the world will change after watching this gem. In this story, Momoko is the highlight, and everything centers around her. 

Riki is Momoko’s twin who once brought her to watch a match where he was leading a team against Ryuji’s team. Thanks to her innocent soul’s constant cheering, her brother’s team wins. The results leave Ryuji devastated, resulting in him spitting some cruel words for her, leading to a fight between him and Riki. 

Anyhow, a lot of similar incidents happen, and Momoko faces the worst possible scenario, which is that she has to be taken to a hospital. The movie’s story focuses on the simplest things and how they can be a challenge for special children.

11. Into The Forest Of Fireflies’ Light 

Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light- depressing anime movies
Source: Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light movie
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Hotaru Takegawa is our female lead, and her life starts a new chapter when she visits her grandfather. One day, she gets lost in a jungle and the worst part? It’s said to be occupied by ghosts and spirits. Anyhow, the most beautiful chapter of her life begins in the forest when she meets Gin.

He wears a mask and turns out to be a little bit mysterious, however, eventually, the two develop feelings for each other. Wanna know why it is one of the most depressing anime movies of all time? Because Gin has a curse that if someone touches him, he will vanish like he never existed! Dude, you heard me right! Will you dare to watch this supernatural romance anime movie that might leave you heartbroken?

10. Violet Evergarden: The Movie

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Trust me, dude, you will bawl your eyes out watching this heartbreaking and one of the most depressing anime movies. Violet Evergarden is our female lead who works as an Auto Memories Doll helping people write letters. All her life, everyone treated her like a machine and never cared about her sentiments.  

She definitely needed a person who saw her as a human, and Gilbert happens to be her knight in shining armor. His affection for her helps her understand the emotions, but her happiness is short-lived. Her finding the meaning behind the three magical words became a challenge for her. Honestly, I don’t want to spoil your fun by revealing the story, but please watch this beautiful movie. I bet you’ll love the chemistry between Gilbert and Violet! There is so much to look for in this movie that makes it one of the best of all times. Also, its anime series is extremely popular, so if you want to try it, you can watch it!

9. Spirited Away

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Spirited Away might not be the saddest anime movie, but it sure is one of the most depressing anime movies. Stress hits right from the initial few minutes when the 10-year-old Chihiro finds her parents have turned into pigs. Yes, allow me to give you the context:

So, she visits a park with her parents, unbeknownst to the fact that it’s haunted. Her parents fall prey to the greed of food, resulting in their transformation into pigs. Unable to figure out what to do, she was alone in the park without her parents, so she panicked and ran. I mean, I would have lost consciousness for sure!  

Luckily, she was helped by a boy who introduced her to Yubaba, the witch who allowed her to work in her bathhouse. For Chihiro, life was no more colorful; she had the heaviest responsibilities on her shoulders. The constant fear of the what-ifs regarding her parents haunted her. However, things do happen for a reason, and the ending will definitely satisfy you. 

8. Hal

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The pain of losing someone special is one of the worst pains one can feel. Hal is on this list of best depressing anime movies because it highlights the same emotion. Kurumi is our female lead who loses her boyfriend, Hal, in an accident that leaves her completely devastated. It was as if the whole world had fallen over her, leaving her completely numb. Looking at this grieving condition, her family introduces the robot version of Hal into her life. 

According to me, it was the worst someone could do to the one bearing the loss of their loved one. Anyhow, even though their intent was good, at the end of the day, it will be challenging for the girl to cope with the harsh realities. I dare you to watch this movie right now if you seriously enjoy depressing anime movies.

7. Maquia: When The Promised Flower Blooms

Maquia When the Promised Flower Blooms
Source: Maquia When the Promised Flower Blooms movie
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Like the name suggests, it’s the story about Maquia, the female lead who belongs to a special race called Lorph. They are different from the rest of the world because of their long lives and characteristics. They keep themselves hidden from the world because of the fear of being a test subject for human’s brutal experiments.

Despite all this, Maquia is curious and intrigued by the world outside her boundaries. One day, when the evil mind learns about their existence, she finds herself in the biggest troubles. Some incidents leave her all by herself in a jungle, where she is heartbroken after losing her closest ones in the chaos. Amidst all of this, she finds a human baby, and her decision to raise it will change her life forever. 

6. Tokyo Godfathers

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Truly, this movie is a gem that you will enjoy if you are in search of the best depressing anime movies. Three individuals named Hana, Gin, and Miyuki are the center of the story. Three of them have challenges of their own, and their lives are no less than the epitome of depression. 

Their life takes a massive turn when they find an abandoned baby. Not knowing anything about them, the kind-hearted Hana decided to raise it. Also, the three decide to find the baby’s biological parents to demand answers unbeknownst to the fact that this journey is not something they expect. This movie will let you experience so many emotions, so don’t you dare miss this beautiful chance to watch it!

5. Colorful

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This is one of the most bewildering stories and also one of the most depressing anime movies I have watched. The story is about a soul who reincarnates into the body of a teenager, Makoto Kobayashi, who commits suicide. 

It’s not like he wanted to be reincarnated, but he must now find a reason why the boy committed suicide and, to top it off, why he was sent in his body. Also, he must finish the task within a specified time, but the depressing part? Well, the thing that makes it depressing is the boy’s realization of human’s deep feelings and emotions leading them to disaster and death.

4. A Silent Voice

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It’s not that depressing, to be honest, but it sure makes one uncomfortable while watching. If you have a sensitive heart, then you might find it one of the depressing anime movies. It highlights how bullying can ruin one’s life and how Karma can flip one’s life upside down. 

Shouya Ishida used to be wild and used to enjoy bullying others. Out of habit, he bullied Shouko, a deaf student, and that day turned out to be the worst day of his life. When the girl’s mother complained about him, everyone started blaming him for his actions. 

Many years passed, but the weight of his actions began to increase on his shoulders. He regretted his mistreatment but didn’t know how to fix things. One day, he decides to seek forgiveness from Shouko so that he can sleep peacefully at night. It’s a beautiful movie that will have your attention right from the start!

3. Your Name

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Ever heard of soul-swapping? Even though the phenomenon only exists in movies, its watching experience will leave you flabbergasted. It is a complete package with a perfect blend of sweet, sour, bitter, and depressing moments. We can actually call it one of the most depressing anime movies out there. 

Your Name tells the story of two polar opposites, Mitsuha and Taki, who happen to swap bodies. Before this incident, both were finding it hard to cope with their daily life struggles. Mitsuha always wanted to enjoy city life and have the freedom to see the world.

In contrast, Taki wanted a less challenging life. Curiosity about each other develops after they find themselves in each other’s bodies, leading them to experience many bitter-sweet moments and revelations. There is romance, mystery, and a lot more for you to look up to!

2. I Want To Eat Your Pancreas

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Is there something better than putting yourself in other’s shoes to feel their pain and learn about their sufferings? The sense of empathy is one of the most beautiful gifts that, unfortunately, not everyone has. It’s the story of a boy named Shiga Haruki who is so much invested in his own world that he barely cares about others. 

One day, after accidentally reading the diary of his classmate Sakura, things changed for him. His perspective on the world started to change when he figured out that she suffered from a fatal illness. When he spends time with her, his sense of empathy begins to develop, and you see, despite it being a gift, it has the power to make you or break you. 

We all know that strength comes after one learns to overcome heartbreak. In this beautiful movie, you will see how things will get challenging for both when they get attached to each other. The idea of letting go of each other will leave everyone onscreen and offscreen miserable!

1. Grave Of The Fireflies

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Even a kid knows that war brings nothing but pain and suffering and the fact that it’s never the right answer to a problem. Yet, people start wars knowing that they will shatter the peace of the world and many innocent lives will suffer. This movie is one of the best depressing anime movies of all time because it sheds light on the consequences of WARS.

The movie takes place to highlight the time of World War 2. Two siblings, Seita and Sestsuko, are the center of the story who lost their parents and their home in the devastating war. They suffer and survive on the roads, searching for food to satisfy their hunger. Yet hope shines in their eyes despite the sound of bombshells everywhere. Make sure to keep a box of tissues with you before you start watching the movie because it does make one cry.

Final Notes

Phew, done and dusted with the list of the best depressing anime movies. To be honest, I am actually feeling a little depressed recalling my experience watching these gems. So, please try watching at least one of them because I actually did my best to create this list for you (my otaku friends). Do come back later to share your watching experiences with me in the comments section. Before you go, let me tell you that many other anime movie recommendations await you here!

What are some of the best depressing anime movies to watch?

There are so many depressing anime movies, and if you enjoy watching them start with Grave Of Fireflies, I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, And Your Name

Why do people enjoy watching depressing anime movies?

Depressing anime movies are full of life lessons and many people find them relatable. It’s also a source of good motivation to cope with daily life challenges. Not all emotionally intense anime movies have a sad ending

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